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Rediff.com  » Sports » Essien strike puts Chelsea into semis

Essien strike puts Chelsea into semis

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Last updated on: April 11, 2007 02:46 IST

Chelsea went through to the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in four seasons after a dramatic last-gasp strike from Michael Essien earned a 2-1 win over Valencia on Tuesday.

Champions League quarter-finals
Man United 7 [1st leg: 1-2] AS Roma 1
Chelsea 2 [1st leg: 1-1] Valencia 1

The 3-2 aggregate victory meant Jose Mourinho's team became the first English side to win at the Mestalla in 40 years, emulating Leeds United who won 2-0 there in the Fairs Cup in 1967.

Chelsea looked to be in trouble when Fernando Morientes gave a sharp-looking Valencia the lead 13 minutes before halftime after he slid in to steer a Joaquin cross into the net.

But after a stuttering first-half performance, Chelsea came out firing on all cylinders in the second and levelled when striker Andriy Shevchenko squeezed in a close-range shot after an Essien free kick.

The midfielder, who will miss the first leg of the semi-final after picking up an early booking, then secured the win when he blasted a shot past Santiago Canizares in the final minute.

Source:
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